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Puss Bank School and Nursery

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Local Academy Committee

What do the Puss Bank School & Nursery LAC do?



  • Determine, with the Principal and Aspire Educational Trust, the aims and policies of the school.
  • To agree targets and priorities to continually improve the school.
  • To monitor progress against the targets and the impact on its’ pupils,
  • To act as a "critical friend" to the Principal providing support and challenge as appropriate.
  • Ensure that the National Curriculum is followed.
  • Review the school budget.
  • Monitor the condition of the school buildings and grounds.
  • Ensure that Special Educational Needs are met.
  • Ensure that Safeguarding and Health and Safety responsibilities are met.


The LAC meet at least once a term and also have specific areas (links) to ensure a connection between the LAC and the school.

Introducing our Local Academy Committee.


Ann Harris. – Chair of Governors with link responsibility for Leadership and English, Phonics, Reading and Writing.

I joined Puss Bank as a co-opted governor in 2012, having retired as a secondary school teacher in 2010, with nearly forty years experience. I felt I was just ‘learning the ropes’ when I became the Chair of Governors in 2015. As well as working with the Leadership Team of the School, I am the Link Governor for English, encompassing Reading, Writing and Phonics. I go into School regularly, meeting staff and children and consider it a great privilege to be associated with such a fantastic School, all be it on a voluntary basis.

Running has long been a passion of mine and I am a member of Macclesfield Harriers Athletics Club, enjoying road and trail races over distances from 5k, 10k, Half and Full Marathons.

I sing in the choir at St Paul’s Church, where I have been a member of the congregation for many years. I have seen how strong the community links are between Puss Bank and St Paul’s, welcoming children, staff and parents to many events over the years. My hope is that this will continue as we move forward together.

Each Governor brings their own particular skills and experience to the role and I am proud of the commitment and level of challenge and support offered to the School by all of the governors.


Gemma Bailey – Vice Chair, co-opted parent governor, with responsibility for the Wider Curriculum.

I joined the Puss Bank LAC in January 2020 and have been Vice-Chair since September 2021. I have spent my whole career working in education: currently as a Teaching Assistant in a local Primary school and previously as a teacher in London, before we moved to Macclesfield.  My two children attend Puss Bank, and I am proud to support the education of all the children there through my governor role.  I am the Link Governor for the wider curriculum, where I enjoy having the opportunity to see some of the fantastic work produced by pupils and view lessons in action, along with meeting with different subject Leaders to understand how their subject is taught at Puss Bank.



Kathy Nichol. Executive Head 

I am an executive head for the Aspire Educational Trust for both Puss Bank and another school in the trust.  I joined the Puss Bank team in 2005 as deputy head and took up the headship in 2010.  During my time here, I have worked with the governors on a range of projects to develop the school buildings, increase our Early Years offer and wrap around care, improve outcomes for pupils and expand our support for pupils with SEND.  I also worked with governors to secure the move to join the trust. 

Outside of school, I love spending time with my family.  We enjoy walking, swimming and travelling.  I like doing a range of crafts too. 

I am always looking for new opportunities to enhance what we are able to offer our children and passionate about supporting pupils to achieve their best. 


Rachel Hammond – Head of School

I joined Puss Bank as the Deputy Headteacher in September 2015.  Previous to this I was Assistant Headteacher at a school in Manchester for 15 years.  Since joining Puss Bank I have always attended the governor meetings but in September 2023 I became a staff governor.

As well as attending governor meetings I regularly meet Ann Harris (Chair of Governors) and Gemma Bailey (Vice Chair of Governors) to discuss what has been happening at Puss Bank and what our next steps are.

I have 2 cats whom I adore – Mickey and Disney.  The children I have taught at Puss Bank can probably tell you all about them!  In my free time I like to go swimming and I also enjoy walking.  I have previously climbed Scarfell Pike, Snowdon and Ben Nevis – the 3 highest mountains in England, Wales and Scotland – but now I opt for the gentler walk!  I like to go on holiday during school holidays; I enjoy visiting places in the United Kingdom, as well as going further afield to countries when the sun is guaranteed!

I am proud to be a governor at Puss Bank; and being able to work with other governors to provide the best for all children at Puss Bank.


Rosie Brennan – Parent governor, responsible for Early Years.

have recently become a parent governor, joining in 2023.

I have two boys, one having now finished his Puss Bank journey and moved onto Tytherington High School and one currently in year 2.

I have good links with St. Paul’s church and have been a member of the congregation for a number of years and have recently joined their PCC. I help out with various things at the church and have been running the toddler group since 2019, which ties in well with my governor link role   with Early Years. 

I also work part time in a solicitor’s office. 


Declan Kinney - Parent governor, responsible for SEND.

I am enthusiastic about the role of Parent Governor at Puss Bank.  I have one child currently at the school, with another due to join Reception in 2025 thus providing a longer term outlook on the role.  

Professionally, I am a local government commissioner with experience of working within SEND & Inclusion, Youth Justice and the wider children's services portfolio.  This role supports my Governor Link area of SEND and I look forward to supporting the school to deliver positive outcomes for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

In my personal life, I enjoy spending time with family, supporting Blackburn Rovers and listening to a range of music and podcasts


Natalie Lane – Parent governor, responsible for Maths.

My name is Natalie Lane and I am a Parent Governor. I have a son in Year 5 and another who has been all the way through Puss Bank before moving to Tytherington High School. I am excited to be focusing on Maths within the school currently. 


Veronica Hydon – co-opted, responsible for Well-being and mental health of pupils and staff.

Revd Canon Veronica Hydon joined Puss Bank Governors in Spring 2023 and has now become the Link Governor responsible for monitoring the children’s personal development, behaviour and emotional wellbeing, as well as the emotional wellbeing of staff. Veronica was for thirteen years an ex-officio Governor at the two Church of England Primary Schools in Bollington whilst she served as Vicar of that Parish until the end of December 2020. Since her retirement from full-time ministry, she has been warmly welcomed as a member of the amazing church congregation worshipping at St Paul’s Macclesfield. She is delighted now to offer her pastoral skills as and when required within our vibrant Puss Bank community, working alongside and supporting our brilliant staff and children in this voluntary capacity. She is also learning to pay proper attention to maintaining her own personal wellbeing, specifically through further developing her artistic skills, spending quality time with grandchildren and her wider family, whilst also attempting slowly to de-clutter a garage full of more than 30 years’ worth of vicar-related paraphernalia!


Mick Warren – co-opted Local Councillor, responsible for Pupil Premium and Health and Safety.

My name is Mick Warren I’m a Co opted governor with responsibility for pupil premium & joint responsibility  for health and safety.

I live on Brook Street with my wife Gaynor, both our children went through Puss Bank School after I left the army in 1992 after 12 years service.  I then served as a Police Officer in the Cheshire Constabulary until 2013.

I was elected as the Macclesfield East ward Councillor for  Cheshire East in 2015 and Macclesfield Town Council in 2019.

I’m a keen golfer and dog walker and enjoy socialising with friends in some of our lovely local pubs.


Matt Cooper – Staff governor, responsible for Health and Safety.

I joined Puss Bank in 2013.  I am a qualified Primary School Teacher but currently undertaking the  role of Learning Mentor and responsibility alongside the Designated Leads for Safeguarding and Child Protection at the school.

I became staff governor in 2017 with a responsibility for Health and Safety.

In my spare time I am Churchwarden over at St Paul’s Church.  This is a huge task and takes a lot of time from dealing with the Diocese of Chester, working with our Vicar, Vivien and also looking after a building which is nearly 180 years old!  It takes a lot of time. It is great to see the positive links between Puss Bank and St Paul’s.

When I am able to, I enjoy going to Wales where I have my caravan and taking time to relax and also have a swim in the sea; even in the colder months of the year!  In spare time at home I enjoy walking and wild-swimming up at Wildboarclough with my closest friend and also going to watch the mighty Macclesfield FC.  My dog Dottie also likes me to take her out for walks and will pester me until I do!

I am proud to be part of the Governing Body of our fabulous school.



As a school we recognise that a diversity of thought, voices and perspectives is essential to good governance and the effective running of any organisation. We regularly collect diversity information from our governors and, depending on current data, can use this to: 

  • target recruitment to address gaps in experience and diversity 
  • develop and adapt board practices to ensure full participation 
  • prioritise training and awareness-raising in identified areas 
  • address potential ‘blind spots’ through seeking wider advice and perspectives on current and upcoming opportunities, challenges and risks 

However, we are unable to publish this information as it would mean that individual members of our governing body are identifiable.